Category Archives: How’s It Flowing

The blog of Jai Atkins A.K.A Likwid

Stay Woke…but unplug occasionally

The other night at dinner, I was talking to my son about his day. Jordyn, my 2yo was sitting at her table singing Bob Marley’s “3 Little Birds”. She’s a little jukebox, just like her mother. I couldn’t help but smile.

Afterwards, my son Jaden who plays AAU basketball had a scrimmage. So we got in the car and he put his NBA 2K12 Soundtrack on, like he does every time we’re going to do something basketball related. And for an hour he provided me a much needed distraction.

Inside that gym, I saw him, his teammates and their competition (varying hues, but predominantly brown like he & I)– being carefree children. There was laughter, frustration, coaches yelling and applauding, whistles blowing and parents talking recklessly. I watched as the fruits of extra practice time, allowed him to regain his jumper. And on the last one, he left that goose neck up as he walked off the court.

When he headed to the huddle, we made eye contact and he smiled broadly. I shook my head, grinned and gave my sign to focus and keep playing. He nodded and listened to his coach.

Unbeknownst to him, my heir had done for me the same thing that my air had done over an hour prior. They allowed me to break not only from the usual day to day grind. But they forced me to unplug from the negativity, the hatred, the fear, the unnecessary yet unavoidable reality that is again being forced onto the masses.

Our nation is broken and has been since forever. Our justice system is broken and has been since forever. Yet even with that, if we as individuals don’t allow ourselves opportunities however small they may be, to exhale and experience some form of normalcy– we will burn out and be worthless to any cause or to those that need us most.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, the news, both cable and network. They all are regurgitating the same negative information and energy over and over again in a non-stop 24 hr news cycle, that can easily do as much harm as good. Yes, it is necessary to be informed. It’s also a must to be selective about whose feeding you and how often.

Our present day reality is not new:

  • there’s a chance I, my children’s mother or anyone in their village could leave home in the AM and never return.
  • my son, is nearing that age where he will begin spending more time away from the nest. He’s only a year younger than Tamir Rice was.
  • my daughter could be riding in the backseat one day during a sheer happenstance encounter with law enforcement, that could go wrong for any number of reasons (see Philando Castile).

This is the remix to a past that POC were faced with some 3-4 generations ago. One that I try my hardest not to let outwardly affect me. At least not in the eyes of my babies. Because they need me, us, here in the physical as well as to preserve the ideal we provide them.

They need to know that someone in their life cares. Especially as they come up in a country, that continues to prove it could give a good damn about them.

With all that said, no matter if you are a frontline fighter against injustice, a background supporter or quiet sympathizer…I implore you to make time to unplug. Because if you don’t, the sheer volume of mind numbing occurrences and their coverage– will certainly, drive you mad.

Be vigilant. Be smart. Be safe.

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:: Love ::

 

 

 

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featured image source:  thecatholiccatalogue

Just Friends

There’s an old saying.

People come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime.

And I’m always the first person to say, that life is not a Hallmark/Mahogany card. Because some of us hold on far too tightly to little catchy sayings about life.

However one thing that is undeniable is, we as human beings, change.

No matter if it’s due to interpersonal dealings, changing circumstances, environmental surroundings or merely just our growing up.

In an ever changing world, we tend to depend on the constant(s) in our lives. Whenever things are at their worst or we feel trapped in a realm of uncertainty– we tend to turn to what we know.

Our learned coping mechanisms. Our parents (family members). Our spouses or significant others.

Our friends.

I’ve been fairly blessed to have friends of whom I could depend. People I’ve turned to for advice or to be sounding boards. Folks I’ve had come watch my kids at a last second notice. Those I’ve vacationed with. Individuals of whom I have allowed to drink my Bombay Sapphire (for those who don’t know, I do NOT play, when it comes to my Bombay).

Friends…how many of us have them? Friends…ones we can depend on?

A friend, is most commonly defined as someone who is a favored companion. One attached to another by affection or esteem.

They normally are present at a point(s) in your life that helped to make you who you are. There are like interests, a sharing of a similar moral compass– more often than not, a friend is someone who you enjoy spending time with and being around. And their weighted worth to us can grow, depending on what if anything they have gone thru with us or vice versa.

So what happens, when someone you classify in such a way, is not there for you?

Well frankly, what we as people (generally speaking) are guilty of, is ignoring the wrong things when looking at our friends. Are their faults okay simply because they have not impacted OUR relationships yet? Have you always been unappreciated/used?

One thing I’ve discovered is that after a certain age, people are who they’re going to be. And it’s not that they change, but rather different pieces of themselves that were always there, come to the surface.

The next time you get a chance, look at your shoe collection.

Our favorite pair(s) of shoes, eventually grow old and need more care in order to still look good enough to wear. Then there are those that regardless of how much we like them, simply can not be saved. You wear them, you enjoy them, and eventually they have to be thrown away. Friendships aren’t entirely like shoes, but the comparison is a lot more apt, then you may be willing to fathom.

An emotionally rewarding friendship can last the test of time. Where even the best shoes despite our best efforts, have a shelf life. But where the two correlate is–what you truly cherish, you work your hardest at taking care of.

Undeniable fact. People’s priorities change and that’s ok (adulthood has a funny way of bringing everyone’s life into a certain focus). And what we have to learn, is to accept this and adjust. It’s not our job to figure out why. Can it be hard to accept, sure. Should you try to save something you once held dear? Sure, if it bothers you and/or if you have a willing counterpart.

But do not give someone priority placement, if it isn’t reciprocated.

Some of us, are simply harder on shoes.

“Postgame Pass” – BOOK REVIEW

Postgame Pass: Access to the Life, by Jill Munroe is a riveting cautionary tale, of the fast life of today’s modern day professional male athlete.

It details stories of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, Pac-Man, gambling, violence, dragons and the incomparable Robin Givens.

And as over the top as the above statement reads, only a very small percentage of it is false. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about that.

In the book, Jill speaks to a few different audiences, in what one could frankly describe as a manual for all interested stakeholders, involved in the day to day off the field dealings of big time American professional athletes.

From young soon to be pros (w/aspirations to become a recognizable brand), to their wives/girlfriends, to aspiring fun girls hoping to become reality TV stars to those regular people that keep VH1 + Bravo’s ratings so high– there really is something in it for everyone.

Now for the pure sports fan who only cares about what’s going on on gameday or the necessary training and discipline needed…this book is NOT for you. However, you should really be able to discern that from the title. But alas even for those types, what you can gain, is a greater appreciation for what your favorite athletes have to go thru on a day to day basis. Because nothing is ever as cut and dry as it seems (i.e. why two teammates seem to suddenly have a problem with one another, and can no longer co-exist).

My favorite parts of the book:

  • Time-Outs- true stories/situations involving players recounted for poignancy to that point of the book (w/names changed unfortunately lol)
  • Chapter 4- Recycling, Chapter 7- Zero to One Hundred Real Quick, and Chapter 15- Exit Strategy
  • the glossary- a number of these terms I was familiar with prior to reading, but others not so much (for fun, read thru the glossary and then go to a pro athletes timeline on twitter and scan it…#thankmelater)
    • my new favorite terms that I can not use loosely in public *cough-cough*:  HoFax, Slash

My take:

All in all, Postgame Pass is a quick, easy and entertaining read. And would make a nice stocking stuffer for anyone who is into the life (off the field, glitz, glam, drama and trappings) of today’s milennial athlete. Initially, the book begins very “listy”. Meaning there’s a lot of, this is this, that is that, type of info. Yet after I finished it, I went back to the beginning and re-read the first couple chapters and better understood why things were presented in that fashion.

As a life long junkie of all things sports, I enjoyed it. And a number of the Time-Outs, had me thinking back long and hard to past rifts between players– in an attempt to figure out who the author was talking about. Additionally, we won’t even discuss the things I actually have done on social media, that athletes + celebrities do (according to this book). But I swear, I didn’t do it for the same reasons…well not the exact same reasons.

Without giving too much away, you’ll just have to read the book to understand. I will simply say this…”birdcall” lol.

 

POSTGAME PASS (www.postgamepass.com) « AVAILABLE NOW!

 

Follow the author:
Jill Munroe (StilettoJill on most platforms)
jocksandstilettojill.com – “ESPN meets Sex & the City”

twitter: @StilettoJill | instagram: @StilettoJill | youtube: StilettoJill | facebook: JocksandStilettoJill

 

 

 

Stop LIKING Love

The internet doesn’t love you. Your cellphone hates you. And all of the premium, elite level, personal content you provide to the world– is one comment, like or DM away from wrecking your love life.

 

Congratulations! Your followers and LIKES count is swole though.

 

Social media in today’s day and age, seems to be as necessary as breathing—even though it’s really not. We’ve let it become so intertwined into our daily fabric, that right after sleeping and eating, sharing something about ourselves is right up there in the hierarchy of necessities. And a lot of us, myself included, even try to mix those.

 

But our relationships though? Ladies and gents, we have to do better.

 

A romantic relationship at any level, is between two individuals (“Big Love” and open situations aside). Social media is used for a number of reasons, but for the sake of this post, let’s say: networking, communicating with large audiences, and as an escape/for fun.

 

Question. If you can network, communicate and have fun with your boo boo offline– then what is the purpose of mixing your IN REAL LIFE, OFFLINE romantic dealings with the digital world? Watch this now. Answer. There is no reason for you to, other than to show off.

 

What’s wrong with that, you may ask. Absolutely nothing. You should never be ashamed or feel as though you have to keep your relationship a secret. Gotdammit, if you want to share your love with the world– then word to Mary J. Blige, you should. However, when you fully disclose what goes on with you and yours, you invite any and every one into your situation.

 

That’s unwanted opinions. That’s jealous people. That’s negative energy. That’s spies (i.e. your friends, their friends, your ex’s, their ex’s, your fans, their fans, etc). That’s drama that spills off the screen and into the real world.

So how do you avoid all of this? One of two ways. The first, is just like abstinence. Don’t use the same platforms. And if that’s too much to fathom, then your other option is to friend/follow your mate, but don’t stalk them. With all of the actual people you as an individual know and all of the strangers (both real and fake) in cyberspace– you really shouldn’t have time to keep tabs on another adult that you aren’t being paid to spy on.

 

Not to mention, there’s school and/or work and/or kids and/or I don’t know…living your life as someone who isn’t the parent of the person you’re also sleeping with. Just a thought.

 

A relationship isn’t about talking to someone all day long, everyday. Nor is it about watching their and other’s interaction level on the net. If you can’t go 4-6 hours without worrying about someone sneaking and creeping, why the f—…sorry. You should not be with them. This post isn’t for you. You should just stop reading right now and wait for the “What the hell am I doing?” post (I can make that happen by the way, just let me know).

 

Your mate deserves space.

 

You deserve space.

 

And tell your friends not to come tattling to you every time your significant other clicks LIKE or posts an emoji. You bums go find some business. Now if they are being blatantly out of pocket, then that’s different. But get your people off retainer.

 

If you want to chat with your man/woman, pick up the phone and call them. Shoot over a text or two or three. Fire off an email. And if you must, jump in those DMs and say what you have to. But then treat them like a total stranger, and X out of the screen.

 

Just because you love someone or even just LIKE them a little bit, why do you feel the need to digitally tell the world, 24/7 365?. Worry more about that one on one communication and save the show, for scripted reality TV. Stop getting into arguments online. Stop posting online about, what he/she said or did that pissed you off. Stop sweating them about their online relationship status. Stop reading folks the riot act, because of something that happened or was read online. Notice a theme here.

 

Don’t make your love life any more complicated than it has to be. If you want to occasionally share your relationship dealings with the world, cool no problem. But the moment you allow cyberspace to become the consistent and constant third party in you and yours pairing…TRUST, one or more of your “friends” is patiently waiting for that status update.

Relationship status:  It’s Complicated

 

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previous related postings: “Single Friends…Be Quiet”  |   “Married- What About Me?”  | “Stop Giving Relationship Benefits…”“Your Savior is Here”

NARE | Single Friends…Be Quiet

In the wonderful world of talking/dating whatever you want to call it, both men and women need to be very mindful of who they solicit advice from.

Stop looking at the screen like that.

Jokes aside, let’s be real. We all have friends that have better track records than others in love, right?

When we’re all single, we have a lot in common. Free time, opinions, ideas on what matters/is important in what we “need” from a significant other. But have you ever looked at a mutual friend that’s in a legitimately happy relationship, and thought to yourself—what does he/she see in him? Or, I could/would never put up with that. Or, why are you doing that for him/her? That’s because contrary to popular belief, even amongst our closest friends, we are different people.

There are certain core ideals that people want in a mate. And normally our friends are close enough to us in mindset, to have a list that moreso mirrors our own wants. But when you really drill down to what is important, what you can look past in favor of the other benefits someone provides you—you may be surprised at how different you and your friends truly are.

For the fellas, when we are in a group setting, of course there’s a certain “look” that we are attracted to. Certain height, hair and body type. “She gotta be down for whatever”, and not be the type to stress you out over dumb stuff. We ultimately want a woman that’s going to let us be us.

For the ladies, when you all are in a group setting, some of the same applies. Certain height, hair and body type. He has to be single, preferably no kids (no baby mama drama), have a job. Not live at home with his mom, have a car and not be the type that’s going to embarrass you in front of your friends.

I should have said this before, but the loose rundowns above do not and will not apply to all people. And can be adjusted to fit different groups, yadda yadda yadda.

But have you ever seen a guy you’ve known to always date one type of woman, settle down with a completely different type? Or a female who preached wanting a man who had to be a certain way, ending up in a relationship with a guy, who may have only checked off a portion of her known checklist?

It’s all because what really matters to each of us, really isn’t defined until we meet and interact with a real life potential mate. That’s when we truly find out, what we “need” vs. what we (think we)“want”. What flaws or dislikes are tolerable and not as big of an idea, when compared against the totality of what you do like about someone. You don’t need, someone who looks like they should be on the most beautiful person in the world list. You need someone who YOU are attracted to. You don’t need someone who is known to be down for whatever. You need someone who is down for YOU, and what you believe in (whether that be family, goals, sexually, etc.).

The mob mentality is very real in all facets of life, even love and relationships. Look at it like this. When you’re with the Wolfpack (shout out to “the Hangover”), you’re not looking for a mate. You’re looking for what’s appealing at that moment. The purely superficial x society’s stereotypical wants. But at the end of the night, when you go home by yourself to hug those kneecaps—or you end up in a relationship that looked good on the surface, but crashed and burned soon after, then what?

In short. Your single friends are good at being single. They should always have a place in your life, because they’re your friends. But remember, their advice comes with limitations. They can speak from prior personal experience or give you their perspective. However do not let someone who is not in a relationship, justify your happiness and how YOU should feel about someone else.

I always tell any single person that asks, make a list of qualities you need and want in a significant other. Then walk away from the list and come back to it later. Realistically go through it and find what is actually important. A true need versus a want, then use that as your baseline. Your friends’ happiness has zero bearing on who you settle down with. They can help you look, and smack sense into you if you go off the rails and start trolling for dates in the prison system. But your heart and mind is the ultimate decider.

When it comes to your closest of true friends, sure you want to be involved with someone who gets along with those individuals. But as long as everyone respects each other and their importance to you, that really is all that matters.

Value your friends’ opinions. Because they want the best for you in the end, but it is solely up to you to make the decision(s) that will impact your relationship status and health.

It’s okay to stray from the herd every now and then.

 

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previous related posting:  “Married- What About Me?”  | “Stop Giving Relationship Benefits…”“Your Savior is Here”

I’m cheating on my…

…site and I don’t feel all that bad.

Well maybe a little.

Last month, I began blogging for Haute Hipsters Media, a communications and branding boutique agency based out of the DC area.

During the re-branding and subsequent re-launch of the website earlier this summer, the company’s owner TaKeyia Monique, decided to include a blogging component to the imprint– with focuses on music, sports, fashion and relationships.

Guess which one I chose?

So far, two pieces have been posted (links below) in “The MANual” and another one is in the pipeline, and should be posted soon. If you’re familiar with me and my writing style, you know what to expect. An honest, fair view on whatever the topic is, with just a touch of comedy…yet always real.

To wrap, continue to check the site here at runninglikwidworks.com, for all of my regular content. But also support what I have going on over at HHM as well. They seem to have something nice flowing over there. I’m just spreading my wings a little bit and tagging along for the ride.

 

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“The MANual” | #HauteApprovedRelationships
hautehipstersmedia.com/category/hauteapprovedrelationships

 

 

 

NARE | Married – “What about me?”

“My husband is working crazy hours and I’m feeling extremely neglected. Something’s gotta give.”

That damn marriage word is hella tricky.

There is no one size fits all set of directions for any coupling. But once you remove the individuality out of the equation, there are a few key things that are fairly consistent and easy to respond to.

Background:  In the instance referenced by the introductory line– the woman is adapting to not one, not two, but three variables that have to be accounted for.

She has a new work schedule. The husband has a new work schedule. And lastly the husband’s new work schedule, comes from a dream job.

Now some may say, the wife should suck it up and deal. Since her husband has a new and demanding job, of which is a dream position for him. I mean after all, we are supposed to support our spouses at every turn right…as long as it’s pertaining to something legal and not harming oneself. While others will say the opposite. She was around before the new job and more demanding hours, he doesn’t get a free pass to just “do him” and say “she will have to deal”.

To that I say, both views are correct.

If a man or woman in a long-term committed relationship, obtains the opportunity to procure their dream job– the partner HAS to be understanding when it comes to any demands that may come along with that. At least in the beginning. However, when you decide to enter into a committed and legally binding partnership, you can’t make decisions w/o looking at the ramifications your decisions can and will have on your household.

So where’s the middle ground?

There’s a two part answer here. One, she has to come to grips with the real reality. There is a LOT of change going on at her home. And it is not solely on him and his new deal. Yes his new schedule is infringing on what used to be their time. But so is her new schedule. There’s a period of acclimation that has to be lived in by both parties, so they can come together and carve out what will be THEIR new time.

However, with that said. I strongly encourage the wife in this instance to talk to the husband. Not in a nagging or heavy handed sense. But in a very womanly, play on his ego, express your understanding of how and why things are the way they are for him at work… “but don’t forget about me” kind of way.

Real men, that have a sense of old school in their DNA, can get lost in the work-provide mindset at times. Factor in, he’s fallen into a job that he’s always wanted…and it’s very easy for him to lose sight of everything else. We (men) can be very one track minded at times. When that happens, just remind us about what’s important (namely you). You as your husband’s wife, should know how to manipulate him by now. How to push his buttons in a positive way. So do that.

Look at your schedules and put together a little rendezvous in or outside of the home. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just some alone time. And during the course of that outing, when you can see or clearly tell that he’s enjoying himself…ask him if he’s in fact enjoying himself. Then follow up his answers with the right comments, eventually arriving at the…

“I know we’ve both been busy, but we have to try to make a little time for ourselves.” or “We should try to do this more often”.

…point of the program. What you’re looking to do here is make his mind work. You’re basically instructing him on what to do, without, TELLING him what to do.

Wrap-up:

If you don’t know how to get to your man, then you have much bigger issues than him not making time for you. But you will get a lot more positive response, by going this route vs. a more direct and over the top approach. If the lack of time is due to a hectic schedule, the last thing he wants to hear is that he’s dropping the ball at home and you’re mad at him. So let him know the deal on how you’re feeling neglected, without coming right out and saying it.

And if after you try that route, things don’t tick over in the right direction even slightly…thennnnn you may have to be more blunt. “Look motherfu@$–…”

 

 

 

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previous related posting: “Stop Giving Relationship Benefits…”“Your Savior is Here”

NARE | Stop Giving Relationship Benefits…

…to dudes not giving you relationship time!

At their core, women are nurturers. Save for some extreme cases, you’re hardwired to care. And that is and can be a gift & a curse when it comes to dealing in matters of the heart.

Men and women of all adult ages, want someone to call their own. However, due to past experiences or conversations with friends in relationships, they may not feel they want to deal with the totality of being in a relationship.

Totally understandable. However here is the conundrum.

Ladies, a man can and will be content sleeping with a roster of women. Because he can gain from a woman everything he needs from an interpersonal/social dealing. Sure there are women, who can have sex w/a dude and nothing more. But there are far more women who can’t. Bottomline, they want that exclusivity. And because of this a man can and will take all or enough of the benefits that are offered– without any reciprocation.

THIS, is where being honest with yourself and being fair to you, comes into play.

At whatever point in life you are in, decide what you want from a man/woman? Are you ready for something real? Or would something more light and frivolous fit your current state? You have to decide what you want, in order to steer clear of unnecessary bs.

It’s 2015. You’re not living in your grandmother’s and great grandmother’s time. If you want to just have fun, do that. Just be sure to be upfront and be safe while doing so.

However if you are looking for something serious, watch this now…I’m bout to fuck your head up lol.

DATE

If you have a number of male suitors, there is absolutely no reason, you can’t go out with more than one person at a time. Here’s where THINKing LIKE A MAN (sorry, couldn’t help myself), plays in your favor.

If a man shows himself to have a real genuine interest in you, then explore that. However if you run across a man who shows interest, yet is maddeningly inconsistent with his interaction, DO NOT WAIT AROUND FOR HIM. Don’t allow him to come and go as he pleases, while you miss out on other opportunities.

If you are not in an exclusive relationship with a man, don’t hold him to the expectations of your man.

Now keeping with that, if you are not in an exclusive relationship with a man, stop treating him as such.

Look, you like a guy and want something more than he’s ready for, that’s fine. Tease him with what being in a relationship with you is like. But don’t put yourself in a one-sided scenario, then wonder months down the line, “what in the hell am I doing”. Because trust me, you will be the only one frustrated.

DO NOT: loan him money, let him borrow your car, give him a key, let him stay at your spot when you aren’t home, cook for him on the regular, call him everyday (multiple times a day), do anything sexually that isn’t mutually desired, randomly do him favors just because, watch his kids (if he has them) regularly…none of that.

But above all else, STOP MAKING YOURSELF AVAILABLE. If you have expressed that you want something more and you aren’t getting that, stop being accessible solely when he wants you to be.

We, men, more often than not–arrive at a place of wanting to be in a relationship later than women do. Alot of time this comes with age, but there can be other factors as well. Now please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying here. If you come across a good man, and you are willing to try and wear him down, baby do you! Just know, you can’t force him to come around. Look…

Ladies, if you’re not honest with anyone else, please be honest with yourselves. Additionally and even more important, be fair to you.

It’s okay for you to want something he’s not ready to give. But don’t lose yourself, in an attempt to get what you want, from any ONE particular man. There are far less men today, who believe in courting a woman, even in a modern day form. But at least allow him to show, that he’s worthy of your time– before you give him all of it.

 

 

 

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previous related posting:  “Your Savior is Here”
 

Your Savior is Here

JOKES, I’M JOKING

Since forever and a day, I have been that guy that people of all walks, come to for advice on a number of issues.

Possibly because I speak my mind like an older person in their 80s. However, the real reason I believe, is the fact that I don’t pass judgement on people– merely give my honest opinion when asked.

With that, I’ve been told over and over again, “you should write a book”, “we need to get you on TV”, “have you ever thought about going back to school for psychology”? In short, I’m working on two books (fiction), wouldn’t mind doing TV, and I could never be a psychologist…because the way I process and regurgitate my opinion at times, would most assuredly get me disbarred (or whatever the proper professional term for a doctor losing his/her license is).

But I do like helping people when and where I can. So I’m going to finally start this advice, “dear Jai”, or whatever this blog within my blog site will be. How will this go, man who knows. But I have learned from other dealings, that waiting to fully flesh out an idea can render it stagnant and dead on arrival. So we’re going to just jump into this.

DISCLAIMER:

I AM NOT A LICENSED ANYTHING. NEVER HAVE BEEN, NEVER CLAIMED TO BE. ANY AND ALL RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS OR TOPICS, WILL CONTAIN MY TRUTH AS I SEE IT, WITH A LITTLE OR A WHOLE LOT OF JEST. WHAT YOU DO WITH IT AFTERWARDS IS COMPLETELY UP TO YOU.

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I’m intending this space to be “relationship” driven, as the majority of my advice is centered there. Warning, I’m sure the majority of my topics will be answering women’s questions about men. But I more than welcome the opportunity to discuss women for men.
 
+ parting shots +

  • I do not proclaim myself to be a man or woman whisperer, just a dude with an opinion to share when solicited
  • Why is there a picture of Victor Newman up above? Because Victor Newman’s character as played by Eric Braeden, is one of the coldest motherf*@kers of ALL-TIME! And because of that, I don’t need another reason.

And with that, we’re off.

 

 

 

It’s 2014, but in case you forgot…

“There’s a war going on outside, no man is safe from / you can run but you can’t hide forever” – Mobb Deep (“Shook Ones”)

Trayvon Martin

Jordan Davis

Eric Garner

John Crawford III

Michael Brown

Ezell Ford

And these are just the more recent names of African-American men, either unjustly targeted or who met a fatal end at the hands of an overzealous individual(s). Some of whom, took an oath of office to protect & serve.

As the son, grandson and nephew of many a man in my family who either served in the Armed Forces or were employed by some form of police force, I understand the need for law & order. I also know that this generation of youths adhere to a level of disrespect for authority, possibly never seen before.

Given that however, why is it that those who volunteered to be in these positions of power and control have received such a deteriorated level of training? Or is there a severe lack in better vetting those presented with a shield and tax-payer afforded weapon?

And you absolutely can not ignore the 23 ton Brontosaurus in the room. How can anyone explain away the obvious bias in how some instances are handled versus others? Especially when color is taken into account.

So you can disobey a direct order from the government and receive protection from a militia of whom some point guns at federal officials–yet if you’re accused of selling the equivalent of a “loosey” on a sidewalk in a major city, you can be choked out. LITERALLY.

Without knowing any of these or other individuals who wrongfully met their end, I can not vouch for their character. Like any and everyone outside of the places where these incidents took place, all we have are personal accounts and media reports (minus Ferguson).

But I can unequivocally say that, I understand where a sentiment uttered by the late great Tupac Amaru Shakur at the Indiana Black Expo in 1993, rings loudly in the hearts and minds of African-Americans everywhere… (see video after the jump)

The more things change…